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billh

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    Ashton Canal

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  1. Hydraulic gear is still in the majority on our canal. Out of 72 paddle sets, only 6 gate paddles have reverted to "proper" type. Some new gates have had the old hydraulics re-fitted even though 40+ years old. About 75% of the gears are faulty in some way, i.e., they leak oil , drop on their own or just don't work. They are an abomination with no redeeming features. Very expensive to maintain as they have to be removed and sent to a specialist hydraulics repair shop, spares are difficult ( I think they were originally of Italian manufacture) . I have heard it said that they cannot be replaced by conventional because some locks are listed structures and the hydraulics were in place at the time of the listing. That might be just an excuse? The original paddle gear consisted of two ground paddles and two co-acting gate paddles at the head of the lock with no reduction gear and two gate paddles of large area with reduction gear on the tail gates . This on a narrow canal.
  2. Many of the HNC locks were re-located and/or rebuilt by the L&NW Railway in the later years of C19th this in connection with their construction of the Micklehurst loop and 4 tracking of their line from Stalybridge to Huddersfield. Most recognisable by being built with blue engineering brick. I can't think of any of these where width is a problem. Going back to Wade Lock, Uppermill: at restoration around 199x(?) , the walls were completely rebuilt to a width that has since caused a lot of the problems for GU boats and others. Somebody , possibly at British Waterways, at the time approved the construction of those walls. It cannot have been a matter of cost, the savings by making it 6" narrower than it should be would be minute. I can only think that BW at the time thought the HNC would never get re-opened throughout and so did not take too much notice of how locks were being rebuilt and to what dimensions?
  3. I understand ,from someone who should know, that Wade lock in Uppermill was "fixed" within the last year or so. The narrow bits of the lock walls were altered so that the whole length of the lock is now a uniform width. Unfortunately that new width is still not quite adequate for some of our so-called dimensionally challenged narrowboats. It is, after all, the Huddersfield NARROW Canal. As opposed to, say, the Ashton Canal which is a narrow canal with perfectly adequate width of locks.
  4. Horseboat Maria has been to Huddersfield several times since the HNC was re-opened. Usually legged through Standedge. Motor Joel has also been the full distance, though towed through the tunnel in a convoy. Both boats are narrow narrowboats at 6' 10+" . Not sure how far the WCBS have got with Forget Me Not & Hazel, might be worth asking? Most historics stick at 19 or21W and I know it can be a long reverse to wind as the turning place at Roaches Lock is too silted up for 70'. Bill
  5. Our moorings are a few hundred yards from the fire incident, boats have been passing since Friday tea time and all weekend so, the canal is open.There was a floating boom near the building to collect any pollution in the canal, that must have been removed. The mill complex has been destroyed and is still smouldering, a sad end to an iconic symbol of Ashton's industrial past.
  6. We wish, if only it was that easy. See the stoppages page. An engineering possession (well, a fire) has meant no services to Stalybridge,Marple,New Mills etc. Don't get me going about the claim for delay repay Littleborough to Manchester Piccadilly in June, that service was a week late due to a "cill on the line" and then a collapsing gate in Failsworth which delayed following boats by a month.
  7. So , the canal isn't closed today, but will be tomorrow?Going by the date in the header.The fire started yesterday and is still burning well. Not sure if the Fire Brigade are using canal water originating from Toddbrook reservoir to fight the fire.
  8. About 5 years ago, we were working through the lock here, very surprised to see a London Transport RouteMaster bus being driven at fast pace round the field on the other side of the canal from Venetian. Any connection to the classics seen here?
  9. Piccadilly Village, secure moorings just east of Store St aqueduct, non towpath side. No need to go in to the basin. No public access, 24 hour stay allowed. If you have to leave the boat, I am sure a passing resident (there are many) will let you back in if you explain.
  10. There's an expensive looking elsan station at Hebden Bridge. The kit is built into a lockable GRP cabinet about 5yards away from the very slow water point. You open the cabinet and there's the emptying bowl and on the left of that is a flush out tap with a label above : "DRINKING WATER". No,the label has not been defaced.I wonder who signed this off as correctly installed and fit for service?
  11. Quick public message to thank Bill and the team at Ashton Packet Boat co. for responding to my plea for help, and organising repairs faster than I could've imagined possible to my 1951 Lister engine.  Great to meet you guys.

  12. Can you get to Guide Bridge, a mile from Portland Basin? At our yard, Steve K. has an HR2 with Blackstone box in his boat, he might know the fix? Maybe, just walk down without the boat for a chat, pretty sure he will be there today. Postcode M34 5HW. Bill
  13. Examples: Malvern, Clee,Bernard, Jimmy....?
  14. On this topic of engine ID: A mate has an SR3 in his narrowboat, it came from a small fishing vessel in Scotland. The embossed engine number plate is missing and he can't find (or perhaps see) a number stamped on the flywheel within the casing. Is there anywhere else on the engine to look for the serial number etc? The reason he wants to know is he bought a nice brass Lister works plate and wants to stamp the correct engine number on it to display in the engine compartment. Thanks in advance.
  15. I have recently been using various Sherwin-Williams 2 part epoxy paints. They all had a date code on and all pretty much past their use by date as recommended by the manufacturer. The oldest paint definitely takes longer to cure and in an extreme case was several weeks. They did however all set ok in the end. Most of the slow curing was noticed with the primer paints, top coats seem to be much better.These two part paints do not skin over in the tin.
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